“Wha Daur Meddle Wi Me? Petition from the people of Fife to the Scottish Parliament 9 January 1701
To his Grace his majesties High Commissioner (James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry) and the right honourable Earls and representatives of parliament, we submit this humble address and petition of the people of Fife.
That now after so long and expensive wars, attended with unheard scarcity and many other calamities, instead of enjoying the blessings of a happy peace, incentives for trade and manufacturing, providing employment for the poor and easing the burdens of state support.
We still find not only great discouragements to trade, increased numbers of poor and a lack of money sufficient to pay a standing army.
but above all what we are deeply aware of is the violation of the sovereignty, freedom and independence of this Kingdom which our predecessors so nobly defended with their blood.
And the encroachments upon which seem to us to be the cause of the great losses which the African and Indian companies have sustained in their Caledonian colony settled in Darien.
Losses contrary to their human rights and the law of nations, and which we perceive to be of national concern affecting the hearts of every true hearted Scot.
May it therefore please your grace and right honourable Earls and peers of parliament to give serious consideration to asserting the Kingdom’s freedom, sovereignty and independence.
And strengthen and support the people in Darien in their right to their settlement in Caledonia, make good their losses, assist them in their efforts so much that they are able to succeed for the honour and wealth of the nation.
And introduce measures designed to provide a better future for the poor, encouraging manufacturers in Scotland to restrain from investing monies abroad.
and reduce the size of the standing army bringing forward other ways of ensuring the security of peace and support of the government and the future and liberty of the Kingdom.
Signed 9 January 1701
Mr George Arnott of Grange W. Anstruther, Robert Forbes of Riris, David Leslie, master of Lundors, James Fairfull of Kilduncan, John Preston, baronet, David Carstorphine, portioner in Kingsbarns, George Sinclair, baronet, Henry Balfour of Denbre, Alexander Bridge, portioner in Kingsbarns, James Preston of Denbre, Andrew Baillie of Parbroath, T. Bruce of Blairhall, Robert Herriot of Ramorny
J. Browne of Bogward, Patrick Ross of Hilcairnie, Robert Scott of Spencirfeild, John Wemyis of Winthank, David Lindsay of Kirkforther, Thomas Weems of Fingask, Henry Wardlaw of Pitravie, D. Clephane of Carslogie, William Henderson of Fordell, R. Douglas of Glenbervie, barronet, James Lindsay of Kavill, James Holburne of Menstrie, Archibald Makgill of Kemboke, Robert Ged of Baldrige, Captain Alexander Bruce of Petothe, James Bennett of Graing, W. Trent of Pitcullo, John Stanhous of Southfod, G. Patersone of Dinmuire, Mr Duncan Whyte of Cruiks, John Imrie of Crowie, John Forrester of Carberrie, George Hay of Mortoune, John Dewar of Lafodie, John Cuninghame of Banden, H. Wardlaw of Luskar, John Malcolm of Inverteill, David Wardlaw of Craighouse, James Law of Burntoune, P. Seton of Lathrisk, R. Balfour of Balbirne, John Balfour of Fernie, J. Balfour of Collachy, J. Kinnier of Kinnier, Michael Malcolm of Balbeadie, J. Malcolme of Foxtoun, Mr David Dewar of Balgonie, John Craford of Montquhne, Boswell of Glenistoune, J. Arnott of Woodmile, J. Skene of Wester Bogie, Russell of Balmalkim, Rachie of Ballmedisyd, James Walker of Daftmill, John Aitoun of that ilk, George Arnott of Woodmill, Michaell Balfour, (the younger) baronet, John Barclay of Colernie, Charles Cheape,(the younger)of Rossie, D. Andersone of Ferriebanck, Alexander Spens of Beriholl, David Orme of Amriecruik, James Maxuell of Lekebank, Patrick Forbes of Lumquhat, Alexander Thomson of Yerdland, Jamas Nicolsone, porshoner in Strakes, Robert Maxwell of Brounbrae, Walter Scot of Eadniehead, Alexander Weymes, portoner of Ballow, Alexander Nairne of St Foord, A. Bruce of Earlishall, Robert Lentron of Kincaple, Philip Hamiltone of Kilbracmonth, James Martine of Clearmonth, A. Balfoure of Northbank, John Bethune of Craigfudie, William Jack of Possil, James Scott of Dron, John Pattullo of Balhoussie, John Wemys of Lathockar, Alexander Nairne of Friertoun, D. Boiswell of Dovan, W. Imrie of Flass,
T. Nairne of Craigtoune, James Robertsone, portioner of Grange, James Linsay of Balkirst, P. Anstruther of Anstruther, James Robertsone of Newbiging, Robert Anstruther of Balcaske, Alexander Aytoune of Inchdarnie, John Leslie of Eastquarter, John Watson of Dunekeir, Beatsone of Kilrie, J. Alexander of Skeddoway, James Betsone of Glesmonth, Patrick Murray of Pittloche, John Skene of Hallyards, P. Greig of Ballingrie, William Aytown Douglas of Kinglesy, W. Arnott of Achmur, Robert Douglas of Strahenry, Arnott of Arnott, Archibald, portinor of Drumard, Robert Bogie of Lennestoun, William Dudingstone of St Foord, James Archibald, portioner of Balbrikie, John Carstairs of Kinneucher, Col. Arthour of Ballon, Henry Stephanson of Ballmoolde, Alexander Monniepennie of Pitmillie, William Lyell, portioner of Kingsbarns, Robert Ged (the younger) of Baldrig, William Wemyes of Cuttlehill, John Aytoune of Kinnaldy, Henry Wardlaw, portioner of Luskar, Andreas Smith (the younger) of Food, John Morres of Coldensbeath, James Stanhous of South Food, John Stivenson of Stivenson Bath, Andorw Smith of Food, William Halkerstone of Halkerstons Beat, John Dewar of Beath, Laurence Walls of Mosyde, J. Balfour of Baith, Hendrie Belfrag of Coltstown, Thomas Mwdie of Lassoddie, David Dowglas of Gellits, John Aitken of Thorntoune Milln, James Halkett of Pitfirren, David Black of Cocklaw, James Moutray of Rescobie, David Aitken of Windag, Michaell Balfour of Forrett, J. Balcanquall of that ilk, W. Aitoun, younger, of Aitoun, J. Colqwhown of Corstowne, William Schaw of Gospertie, George Lundy of Drum, G. Birrell, portioner of Kineskwood, Mungo Law of Pitlouk, William Arnot, portioner of Kinaskwood, John Arnot of Chapell, James Hoy Leslills of Riggs, Thomas Craige of Lamonths Law, D. Balfour of Kinloch.
Comment: Three hundred and sixteen years later the content of this petition still holds relevance today.
I was asked recently why I wished to live in a Scotland independent of Westminster governance. My answer: Because I am a Scot.!!! That’s it folks, my heart dictates my actions.